SA Affordable Housing January - February 2019 // Issue: 74 - Page 9

NEWS Ruperts hand over 70 title deeds Seventy Aberdeen residents became homeowners on 16 November as Johan Rupert and his wife Gaynor organised and paid for the title deeds to their homes through the Khaya Lam land reform project. Johan Rupert hands over title deeds to Aberdeen residents. K haya Lam, which is an initiative of the Freemarket Foundation, delivers home ownership to township residents, deprived of their dignity and rights under apartheid, by facilitating the conversion of council owned rental properties into freehold title – at no cost to the recipients. The 1913 Natives Land Act prohibited black South Africans from owning land in so-called ‘white areas’ – restricting the question of land ownership entirely to the ethnic authorities in the reserves, later known as homelands. Black people in the cities therefore lived as tenants on property owned by the local municipality, which developed into what we know today as ‘townships’. Not much has changed and as many as five million families still live as tenants, or without ownership rights, across South Africa. Black people in the cities therefore lived as tenants on property owned by the local municipality. Khaya Lam offers hope to the citizens of this small Karoo town more than 20 years after the end of apartheid with the aid of well-known philanthropists Johan and Gaynor Rupert. Before personally handing the title deed certificates to recipients, Johan Rupert said the people of the Karoo were a ‘special breed’ and that the region was special to him and his wife. Anton Rupert, Johan’s father, used to remind him that this region produced the anti-apartheid activist Reverend Beyers Naude, founder of the Pan Africanist Congress Robert Sobukwe and anti-apartheid activists the Cradock Four. He said they have a special bond with Aberdeen because it is Gaynor’s home town. Her father was a master builder and built the magnificent church in the centre of Aberdeen. The handover of title deeds to 70 new homeowners took place in Rupert’s birth town of Graaff Reinet at the South African College of Tourism (SACT) which was founded and is funded by Gaynor Rupert. The presentation followed a graduation ceremony of 92 hospitality students from disadvantaged backgrounds who will go on to forge careers in the tourism industry, supported and guided by the college. There were moving speeches by the Mayor Deon de Vos and an Aberdeen title deed recipient. Master of ceremonies was Councillor Willem Safers. On 3 December Johan and Gaynor Rupert presented more than 326 title deeds that they sponsored to new homeowners in Stellenbosch. JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2019 7